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Accenture’s Carly Evans teaches colleagues how to play basketball in virtual reality

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Smart appliances, 3D teleportation and cyborg technologies—things that once only played out on the big and small screens as futuristic entertainment are now starting to take center stage in our everyday lives.

In fact, certain artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are so commonplace (hello, Alexa) that it’s difficult to imagine living in a world without them.

So, if we are living in the future today, what does that mean for the technologies of tomorrow?

Our Technology Vision 2022 report: Meet me in the Metaverse provides a window to what comes next.

The report demystifies four trends that will reshape business and careers over the next decade. It’s an exciting time to witness these technologies develop in real-time.

A view into the future

Among the advances we can expect to see: a more intrinsic push for embedded technology where our lives will go from being assisted by machines to integrated with machines.

Wearables, clothing, exoskeletons and prosthetics that are not added on, but integrated in and on our bodies. Medical advances, surgeries, replacing organs that can operate just as effectively as a human organ. And the emergence of new, unconventional paths to kickstart careers in nontraditional areas of expertise and in unexpected places.

For career seekers, the world is evolving toward a more collaborative and open mindset with accelerated opportunities to try new things. We talk about the metaverse as a “continuum” because it’s evolving.

This requires us to always stay on our toes, to be on the lookout for what’s coming next: what is the new technology, the new startup, the new idea that will change the game of how we deliver client value?

Skills needed now and more than ever

Hard skills in the foundations of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies will continue to be important. And while most of the programming scripts and languages such as Python or C++ are still important, we will also see an increase in new platforms for 3D spaces and immersive experiences.

Still, it’s those soft skills that will remain essential: maintaining a sense of curiosity, a drive to expose yourself to different areas of work across different industries, to not limit yourself. And most importantly, immersing yourself in learning, creating and developing must be an always-on, intrinsic and a continual loop of progression.

As we continue to pioneer the exciting next wave of technology that creates new and emerging spaces, trust, responsibility and resilience will take on new levels of importance and relevance.

These attributes will be particularly important for the next generation of digital natives growing up in a virtual world that will literally change the nature of how products are marketed, distributed and experienced. Creating ancestral bridges to teach boundaries that can protect against information overload burnout and guardrails for our brains as we move forward in this space.

Blurred boundaries

I’ve learned many things over my 33 years in technology innovation. One truth that will not only remain constant, but will grow in importance, is our need and ability to safeguard our mental health and well-being.

I cannot stress enough the importance of feeling rested and relaxed in the work you’re doing and to manage your health for the longer term. For me, that includes taking plenty of time to disconnect and go on hikes. To be present in the world around us wherever I can.

The metaverse is a continuum that will span the spectrum of digitally enhanced worlds, realities and business models. Everything that we’re doing in the metaverse will affect every aspect of business. While we are at the early stages of the metaverse, it will advance quickly.

As we embark on this historic moment in the evolution of the internet, I believe the legacy should be for us to make sure that current and future generations have the space to learn, grow and imagine new opportunities—with joy, a sense of excitement and fun.

Yes, having fun at work is important.

And being happy at work with what you’re doing is everything.

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Marc Carrel-Billiard

Senior Managing Director – Accenture Technology Innovation and Accenture Labs

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